Whatever industry you work in, the success of your business may be largely dependent on first impressions. As the initial point of contact with your company, your reception area is where potential clients, customers and employees will start to form an opinion of who you are and how you work. Unfortunately, many companies overlook the importance of having a welcoming, well-designed front of house, and this can prove to be a costly mistake. Not only can a disorganised, unattractive reception area leave an unfavourable impression on your guests, it can also have a negative effect on employee morale. So, whether you are planning on an entire design overhaul in this section of your workspace or you simply want to make a few updates, it’s well worth taking a look at this essential guide to revamping your reception.
Providing A Warm Welcome
The main purpose of a reception is to welcome people to your business. With that in mind, creating an inviting and comfortable space is essential. Steer clear of the clinical, waiting-room look and try to make the space appear and feel as homely as possible. As well as providing plenty of high-quality, comfortable chairs for visitors who may have to wait for you, it’s important to ensure the space is organised and well kept. After all, having a pile of teetering folders in the corner and a desk scattered with papers could give visitors the impression that you have a disorganised and sloppy approach in all your work. To keep the area looking presentable and clutter-free, it’s worth investing in filing cabinets, shelving systems and other storage solutions.
As well as choosing the right office furniture, you’ll need to make sure your facilities are up to scratch. To ensure that your guests are well looked after, consider having a range of refreshment options on offer, including a water dispenser, coffee machine or even some complimentary snacks to make their waiting time more pleasurable. You may also want to provide a selection of reading materials that are relevant to your industry for people to flick through while they wait.
Even simple touches, such as a vase of fresh flowers, soft accent lighting and soothing background music can help make your guests feel more at ease and create an inviting atmosphere. Paying attention to small details like this can go a long way towards imparting the best possible view of your business.
A Well Designed Space
When welcoming new clients and customers, a well presented front of house can be the difference between creating long lasting business relationships and losing custom. No matter how successful or well established your firm is, if your entrance is dated, scruffy and cramped, it is bound to reflect badly on your brand image. To increase your chances of making a good first impression, you need to think carefully about the design and layout of your reception.
As well as creating a stylish and aesthetically pleasing space, you need to take practical considerations into account. For example, if you regularly receive deliveries or have a large number of people visiting your office on a daily basis, space is a crucial factor. Remember that your reception is where people enter and leave the building, so it’s crucial that you make sure you accommodate high volumes of traffic. Without sacrificing style, it is also a good idea to opt for hardwearing, robust materials for the floor and furnishings so you won’t have to keep redecorating every few months due to wear and tear. In addition, your reception desk should also be clearly marked and your receptionist should have enough space and storage to work efficiently.
Whether you are lucky enough to have a large room or you are working with a smaller area, you’ll no doubt want to put the space you have to its best possible use. To prevent your guests from feeling too cramped, choose furniture that matches the size of the room and avoid the temptation to go overboard with decorative, superfluous items. If you are lacking in square footage, using a corner reception desk can help to free up valuable floor space.
Reflect Your Brand Image
Much more than just a waiting room, your reception area can speak volumes about your company culture, values and aspirations. With that in mind, it is essential that the interior is representative of your corporate brand. Take a few minutes to think about the story behind your company and how you want others to view it. You can then use this to inform the design process. Every aspect of the interior design, from the furniture to the decor, should convey a sense of who you are as a company. For example, a creative agency with a young target audience may choose to have a vibrant, modern design while an accounting firm may suit a more formal, professional look. Whatever image you want to project, your reception should reflect your marketing message and set the tone for the rest of your office.
One simple yet powerful way to create an image that people will instantly recognise as your brand is to use your corporate colours. As well as incorporating the colours from your logo or website to decorate your walls, you may want to consider using brand-relevant hues for your reception furniture to further drive home the message.
Receptions also offer the perfect chance to show off the success and achievements of your firm. Consider having a trophy display cabinet, framed certificates and magazine articles that feature your company. This can help to project a sense of success and professionalism and give your visitors a better idea of who you are and what you do as a business before meetings or interviews begin.
So, if you want to make a bold statement and create strong relationships with your customers and clients, you may want to think carefully about the design of your reception. By bearing tips like these in mind, you should be able to promote your brand, create a welcoming feel and leave a favourable impression the minute someone walks through the door.